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Corydalis cava - holewort


From the large genus of Corydalis the native in Finland are only fumewort (C. solida) and C. intermedia. Holewort is a delicate species from the Central Europe and it has reddish-purple or occasionally white flowers. The major difference to the native fumewort can be found underground. Fumeworts are tuberous plants and tuber of holewort is hollow (cava = hollow, concave).

In nature holewort is increased by seeds which the ants transport to gain from the elaiosome. After germination the developing tuber grows for four years and during that time the central of the tuber becomes hollow. When the tuber grows old the basal decomposes and the tuber will be concave, roundish ellipsoid or somewhat conical.

In Mustila holewort blooms in spring at the Terassi (Terrace) both reddish-purple and white colored. The leaves stay green and photosynthesizing even when then the seeds are matured. Thus it gains strength for the next flowering period. The holewort should be planted shade so that leaves would not wither too quickly. In any case it has fully disappeared to underground till midsummer.


Corydalis nobilis - Siberian corydalis

Corydalis nobilis © Susanna

Siberian corydalis is one of the old perennials flourishing in manor and parsonage gardens. It can also be found in the Mustila manor park, as well as in the Juhlapaikka (Festival area) and Atsalearinne (Azalea slope). Besides gardens, it may be seen as garden escapes in herb-rich places around old settlements. Ants disperse the seeds efficiently while using the elaiosomes attached to the seed as nourishment.

The corydalis found in Finland originate from Sweden, from the Hammarby estate of Carl von Linné. He had seen a drawing of an old-fashioned bleeding heart (Lamprocapnos spectabilis) and asked his Finnish student Erik Laxmann to send over some seeds. The seeds were sent from the Ob valley in 1765, but these seeds produced Siberian corydalis, not the old-fashioned bleeding heart which Linné to his disappointment never had the chance to see.

The Siberian corydalis looks at its best in early summer, especially when blossoming in May, when the blue-green foliage is still lush. The flowers are yellow with a brown dot. As the seeds ripen the plant withers and eventually completely disappears as the summer moves on. Corydalis is best placed among late flourishing plants which take over the space after the Corydalis has disappeared.


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